Travers trainer who complained about winning jockey: "It's out of my hands now"

Posted at: 09/01/2013 11:53 PM
Updated at: 09/02/2013 12:00 AM
By: Steve Flamisch

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The trainer who filed a formal complaint about the outcome of the Travers Stakes said Sunday he is being "raked over the coals" in the press.

Eric Guillot asked the state Gaming Commission to investigate whether winning jockey Luis Saez used a small electrical device to zap Will Take Charge to victory in the million-dollar race on August 24. Guillot's horse, Moreno, finished second.

"I was doing my job to keep the integrity in the game," Guillot told NewsChannel 13. "I went through the right procedure. It's out of my hands now."

Guillot said he didn't question the result until his brother told him four days after the race to closely watch NBC's telecast. In the video, Guillot said, Saez appears to shift a small object from his right hand to his left hand then tuck it under his saddle just seconds after crossing the finish line.

Though he filed the complaint, Guillot said he is not accusing Saez of cheating.

Saez, 21, rode Five Iron to victory in the Saranac Stakes on Sunday. After posing for photographs in the Winner's Circle, he returned to the jockey's room surrounded by security guards. He declined to comment on the complaint.

His agent, Richard DePass, told the Daily Racing Form that Saez is innocent.

"It's absurd for someone to make an accusation like that," DePass told the website. "We deny it one million percent. We're going to get an attorney and pursue this vigorously."

New York Racing Association spokesman Eric Wing acknowledged a complaint had been filed.

"We are actively cooperating with the Gaming Commission's review of that complaint," Wing said. "The integrity of our racing is obviously a matter of great importance to us."

Ten years ago, the Miami Herald accused jockey Jose Santos of using a small electrical device to prod Funny Cide to victory in the Kentucky Derby. Following an investigation, Santos was cleared of all charges. He sued the newspaper for libel, winning a substantial settlement.